Pakistan launches retaliatory airstrikes in Iran


For quite some time now we’ve been keeping a close eye on the border region between Pakistan and India. The two nuclear powers have never gotten along well, with frequent skirmishes breaking out over disputed territory. But as of yesterday, Pakistan has experienced a flare-up with a different neighbor. Iran has launched attacks on what it claims are terrorist centers in Pakistan and now Pakistan has fired back, launching airstrikes into Iranian territory and killing at least seven people. So if there wasn’t already enough warfare in that region (both declared and undeclared), there’s one more conflict to toss on the pile. 

From the Associated Press:

Pakistan’s air force launched retaliatory airstrikes early Thursday on Iran allegedly targeting militant positions, an attack that killed at least seven people and further raised tensions between the neighboring nations.

The strikes in Sistan and Baluchestan province follow Iran’s attack Tuesday on Pakistani soil that killed two children in the southwestern Baluchistan province.

The strikes imperil diplomatic relations between the two neighbors, as Iran and nuclear-armed Pakistan have long regarded each other with suspicion over militant attacks.

Iran also launched strikes against what it claimed were ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria on the same day. Those attacks were, according to Iran, a response to an ISIS suicide bombing attack earlier this week. Iran appears to be specifically going after the Jaish al-Adl Sunni separatist group. In a pleasant break from typical anti-American terrorism, Jaish al-Adl is actually fighting other regional nations in an attempt to achieve an independent nation for Iran’s eastern Sistan and Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan provinces.

In terms of the conflict between Iran and Pakistan, America still technically considers Pakistan our ally. But that status was seriously called into doubt when we learned that elements of the Pakistani government were firmly in bed with al Qaeda and had been sheltering Osama bin Laden for years while we searched fruitlessly for him in Afghanistan. After decades of relative peace, it feels as if almost everyone in that region is fighting now. But as long as they’re attacking each other and not the United States or Israel, we should probably just let them wear each other down.

Meanwhile, we launched another strike against the Houthis in Yemen. It would appear that Joe Biden no longer believes he can simply ignore the Houthis’ continued attacks on shipping in the Red Sea to appease Iran.

The U.S. military fired another wave of ship- and submarine-launch missile strikes against Houthi-controlled sites Wednesday, U.S. officials said, marking the fourth time in days it has directly targeted the group in Yemen as violence that ignited in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war continues to spill over in the Middle East.

A spokesperson for the Biden administration said last night that the United States has “strongly warned Iran to cease providing weapons to the Houthis.” I’m sure a strongly worded letter will do the trick this time. (/sarc) Perhaps taking out a couple of their oil platforms or their nuclear fuel operation would get their attention. Of course, then we would only be dumping more fuel on the fire. Everyone keeps talking about the need to contain the conflict in the Middle East to Gaza to avoid an escalation of a broader war. But looking at all of these headlines, isn’t the entire region already at war today, lacking only official declarations? It’s a mess, no matter how you try to understand all of these intersecting conflicts.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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